Lutheran Partners in Global Ministry (LPGM) engages individuals and communities in transformational partnerships across the globe. Partnership is vital to our work, whether it be in the Central African Republic where we partner to build peace via social cohesion, conflict resolution and economic development efforts; in India where we partner to provide access to education for nearly 1,500 impoverished children; or in Guatemala, where we partner to support conservation programs that empower young Maya girls via education and leadership training. Our local and global partnerships are central to our growth and sustainability, and we believe they are vital in achieving real progress towards peace, prosperity, and planet.
LPGM established a partnership with Community Cloud Forest Conservation (CCFC) in 2015. CCFC works in the central highlands of Guatemala at the crossroads of poverty, human population pressures exacerbated by poverty, and environmental degradation in one of the planet’s most important and valuable ecosystems. Villages in Guatemala’s central highlands are demonstrably experiencing extreme poverty while at the same time causing great degradation to the region’s environment.
Knowing important natural areas such as ground water recharge forests, national parks, wildlife areas, and protected areas all over the developing world are under threat from human impact spurred by poverty and lack of opportunity, CCFC recognized the acute need in this critically important environment.
CCFC was created to address these interconnected challenges – to alleviate poverty and protect forests through education, reforestation, community development, leadership scholarships, and ecological agricultural improvements. CCFC believes that holistic human and community development through education and capacity building is the key to conservation and peace building in Guatemala’s central highlands. Education – especially for young women – is key to the healthy and sustainable development of this region.
Yet for most young women in the rural Guatemalan villages of Alta Verapaz, education beyond 6th grade is out of reach. With limited resources, many parents send only their sons away to school, leaving girls with few options other than starting a family.
CCFC tackles this by addressing the complex cycle of challenges that the rural villages of Alta Verapaz faces:
Poverty ➣↩︎ Population explosion ➣↩︎ Malnutrition ➣↩︎ Lack of access to education ➣↩︎ Teenage motherhood
Each problem exacerbates the others. To address them, CCFC believes:
- Education is a key element to ending poverty
- Leadership formation is necessary for education to have a multiplier effect
- Research shows that the best return on investment in education happens when investment is made in education for women